How to check if my computer has a virus: Top 10 symptoms

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A good antivirus solution should prevent malware from ever infecting your system. Phone Leon Jordaan on 0409274992 or 40531224, if you haven’t yet invested in reliable security software or something manages to slip past your defences, it’s important to be able to identify the signs of a computer virus.


In today’s post, we’ll show you the most common symptoms of a computer virus, how you can check whether the issue is caused by malware and what you need to do if you discover an infection.

Please note: Some solutions suggested in this article include actions such as system restore and driver updates. These may have unintended results after they’re performed. If you’re not familiar with these operations (or unsure how to properly perform any of the other solutions we suggested), we recommend that you consult with a trusted PC repair professional first.

1. Your web browser has new extensions you don’t remember installing

While some extensions are legitimate and can add useful functionality to your web browser, others are much less helpful.

Some extensions are known to collect private data about your browsing habits, which may be sold to third party advertisers. Others are poorly coded and contain critical security flaws that put your system at risk.

If you see a new browser extension that you don’t remember installing, there’s a good chance there’s malware on your system.

2. Your antivirus software is disabled and you can’t re-enable it

Antivirus software plays a key role in protecting your computer against the hundreds of thousands of new malware that are created every single day.

However, there are many strains of malware that can disable your security software, stop it from updating and prevent it from running scans.

Permanently disabled antivirus software is a common symptom of malware. If you’ve started receiving warning messages about your system being unprotected or noticed your antivirus software behaving differently from normal, you may be dealing with a malware infection.

3. Your computer is slow to boot and open programs

A slow computer is one of the most common signs your computer has a virus. While there are dozens of factors that could potentially affect the performance of your PC, malware is the most concerning.

Some types of malware allow cybercriminals to harness the power of your computer and use it for their own purposes (say, carrying out a DDoS attack or mining for cryptocurrency), which can have a significant impact on performance.

4. Your friends are receiving spam messages from you on social media

Social media platforms are popular hunting grounds for cybercriminals. Irregular behavior on your account is a very common sign of a computer virus.

If your friends say they’ve received strange messages from you or seen you posting weird comments, your account may have been compromised or your computer might be infected with malware.

5. Your Internet connection seems much slower than usual

A slow Internet connection or unusually high network activity can often be attributed to malware.

There are many strains of malware that can hijack your Internet connection and use your bandwidth to carry out undesirable activities. In severe cases, you may lose connectivity altogether.

6. Your computer fan starts running randomly

The fans inside your computer are critical for expelling warm air and drawing cooler air into the case. When your computer performs a resource-intensive task such as playing a game, encoding a video or rendering 3D files, your fans kick into overdrive to help keep your computer cool and prevent the internal components from overheating.

Strange fan behavior can be the sign of a computer virus. If you’ve noticed that your PC or laptop is getting unusually hot or the fans are spinning at maximum revs even when your system is idling, there may be an issue with your computer.

7. Your browser redirects you to websites you don’t want to visit

A very common symptom of malware is being redirected to websites you didn’t intend to visit. These websites are often malicious and are used to obtain your personal information or encourage you to download more malware.

Cybercriminals also use browser redirects to drive traffic to websites and generate money from ad impressions.

8. You’ve started seeing a lot of pop-ups

Have you suddenly started seeing a lot more pop-up advertisements? Many potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) come bundled with adware that uses every opportunity to show you unwanted ads about weight loss, get rich quick schemes and phony virus warnings.

You might also notice that your browser homepage has changed and your browsing experience is much slower than usual – both of which are typical symptoms of a computer virus.

9. Your computer crashes frequently

Frequent crashes or encounters with the blue screen of death are a telltale sign that there’s a problem with your PC, but identifying the exact cause can be tricky. Crashes may be due to a number of things, including:

  • Hardware troubles
  • Operating system error
  • Some sort of driver problem
  • Overheating
  • Malware

10. You get warnings from antivirus software that you didn’t install

You might have malware on your PC if you’ve started receiving threat warnings from security software that you didn’t install on your system.

Some types of malware are made to look like legitimate antivirus software. Often referred to as rogue antivirus, the software warns you of fictitious security threats and instructs you to purchase a product that will supposedly resolve the problem.

These programs are completely bogus and are designed to extract money from you or encourage you to install more malware. Some classic examples of rogue antivirus software include MS Antivirus and Security Suite.

Written by Leon Jordaan working at 35 pease street, manoora, cairns, queensland.